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article imageBlanc vows PSG won't park the bus at Chelsea

By Tom Williams (AFP)     Apr 7, 2014 in World

Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc declared on Monday that his side will go on the offensive against Chelsea as they seek to secure a place in the Champions League semi-finals.

"We try to win with fairly attacking football; having the ball, causing problems for our opponents," Blanc said during a press conference ahead of Tuesday's quarter-final second leg.

"If we want to become a great team at European level, we have to play like that both at Parc des Princes and elsewhere. We can't just have that philosophy at home."

PSG recorded a 3-1 victory over Chelsea last week in the first leg of the quarter-final at Parc des Princes, leaving them on the verge of reaching the last four for the first time since 1995.

During his first stint as Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho introduced the phrase 'park the bus' to the English football lexicon to describe teams who set out purely to defend, but Blanc says that PSG will not abandon their attacking principles at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

"We have a philosophy because we believe in certain things," Blanc said when asked if his side would 'park the bus'.

"I think it's the best way to win a trophy. Others think differently. What makes a difference is people who win. Whoever wins is always right.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be different (to the first leg), notably in the first 20 minutes. I think that they will attack us.

"We have to be calm, rely on our philosophy, and also look to hit them on the counter-attack. We have the players to do that."

He added: "We haven't come to Chelsea to suffer. We're here to play. We know the best way to play is to have the ball and create opportunities.

"We've not come here to be dominated. We want to impose our game, even away from home. That's what the great teams do."

- Opportunities for Lavezzi -

PSG will be without top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to injury, with Edinson Cavani expected to deputise at centre-forward, enabling Lucas Moura to come into the team on the right flank.

Lucas's pace will give PSG greater counter-attacking thrust and Blanc expects Ezequiel Lavezzi, who starred in the first leg, to provide a similar outlet on the opposite flank.

"In the first leg we saw Chelsea were very compact," said the former Manchester United centre-back.

"They defend in front of goal, but that creates space on the flanks. That's great for 'Poch' (Lavezzi) because of his qualities. He has speed, penetrates a lot, and he has rediscovered some punch.

"He caused them huge problems in the first leg. If they come looking for us high up the pitch, there will be spaces that we could exploit, through him and others."

PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi has set the club the objective of winning the Champions League within five years and Blanc believes that the runaway Ligue 1 leaders and defending champions are on track to do that.

"The Champions League is a very difficult trophy to win, but they (PSG's owners, Qatar Sports Investments) have given themselves the means to win it one day," he said.

"For now the club has reached the quarter-finals. Now we have the possibility tomorrow to go a little bit further.

"I think the club's ambition is to win the Champions League as quickly as possible, while knowing that it could take time.

"There are examples in England -- Chelsea needed a long time to win it, despite lots of investment. I think that PSG will one day win this competition. When? It's impossible to say."

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